Inexpensive Backpacking Foods Right Under Your Nose
I love eating in the wilderness. I've eaten everything from gasoline doughnuts and bong-water chili to biscuits & gravy and our delicious wedding cake. Most of the time, it doesn't need to be gourmet food, just good, nutritious food that I feel good about eating. But, we spend a lot of time in the backcountry, so we try to be economical about it.
While I appreciate the growing number of businesses that are producing food specifically for backpacking, I prefer the economy, the creativity, and the wider variety that I get from assembling my own vegan backpacking food.
In this article, I want to share what I've found from exploring local stores in search of vegan backpacking food while also avoiding undesirables like MSG, GMOs, HFCS, and others.
Simple, inexpensive backpacking foods are tucked away at your local supermarkets, specialty stores and Asian markets.
Breakfasts are easy to pull right off of the grocery store shelves.
1) Instant oatmeal, instant farina, instant grits.
2) Add some off-the-shelf peanut butter, almond butter, sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts or cashews. Even a handful of trail mix will do.
3) Then add a wide variety of dried fruits or sweeteners to taste, right off the shelves: brown sugar, maple sugar, or just about any dried fruit you'd prefer.
When it comes to simple vegan instant meals, breakfast is the easiest to nail down.
Cheap options abound for lunches and dinners also. Every backpacker know about the merits of ramen noodles, but if you want to avoid MSG and animal products, you'll also want to check those labels carefully.
Koyo Ramen put out a great selection of inexpensive noodles in it's line featuring Organic heirloom wheat flour noodles. Thai Kitchen has a vegan option in it's Roasted Garlic & Vegetable.
But, what are ramen noodles? Pretty much noodles, spices and tiny chunks of . . . stuff. Realizing this, we started looking at combing noodles, spices, and veggies separately. It's easy and inexpensive.
Combing inexpensive noodles with dried veggies is awesome. We almost always have a stock of Just Tomatoes mixed veggies around. We'll grab a handful out of an 8oz. tub of 'Just Veggies' and throw them in with a package of ramen and that's a meal. Just Tomatoes also has these in an organic option. While we used to be only able to buy dried mushrooms at a favorite Asian Market in the next town over, our local grocery store has started carrying a nice selection. We love chopping up a few of these and adding them to our meals.
So, we get to ensure that our food is of good quality, we get to make it how we like, and the Ziplocs are reusable.
Great benefits await the patient and curious backpacker if they are willing to explore their grocery stores and Asian markets with backpacking in mind.
Interested in dehydrating some of your backpacking food? This is how we do it.
How does one store all that dried food? Some goes right into the cupboard, most of it we set aside. This is how we store our dried and dehydrated backpacking food at home.